FreeBSD Jail Management Tools

To design “FreeBSD Mastery: Jails” I need to look at the existing jail management tools. Jails have been around about fifteen years now, and FreeBSD has accumulated a whole bunch of wrappers and supporting tools. Many of these have wound up in the ports collection.

Jails have evolved over the years. Some of these add-on . . . → Read More: FreeBSD Jail Management Tools

Sudo talk now on YouTube

My talk Sudo: You’re Doing It Wrong is now live on YouTube. (Thanks to TJ for letting me know.)

The talk is based on my book Sudo Mastery.

This talk went better than my NYCBSDCon talk. Probably because I hadn’t confused “buzzing with caffeine, adrenaline, and sleeplessness” with “raging tonsilitis.” The Q&A at the . . . → Read More: Sudo talk now on YouTube

Sudo talk at, 9 Dec 2014

I’ll be talking at in Farmington Hills, MI, on 9 December 2014.

The topic is Sudo: You’re Doing It Wrong. If you use sudo, you need to show up for this. Because you’re doing it wrong. It’s based on Sudo Mastery, as you might guess.

Come to They have cookies.

They usually record . . . → Read More: Sudo talk at, 9 Dec 2014

FreeBSD “Working copy ‘/usr/src’ locked.”

Poul-Henning Kamp is working with me on some GBDE fixes. Which means he sends me patches and says “Here, try this,” along with very valuable exposition on how GBDE works and the threat model it applies to. This means I’m updating frequently.

My usual update process is:

# cd /usr/src # make update && make . . . → Read More: FreeBSD “Working copy ‘/usr/src’ locked.”

Next Project: “Networking for Sysadmins”

FreeBSD Mastery: Storage Essentials is out for tech review. (If you’re reading the pre-pub book, you’ve got a few more days to get comments back to me.) I’ll then make the corrections and send it to copyediting.

So I’m writing another book.

The current title is Networking for System Administrators. (I’d like to work the . . . → Read More: Next Project: “Networking for Sysadmins”

Revoked and Replaced OpenPGP Key

I uploaded a GPG key to back in 2005. It’s well past time for me to replace it. I covered creating your revocation certificate back in PGP & GPG, but didn’t actually write about using that revocation certificate. Nine years later… yeah, I better figure this out.

So Io to the machine with my . . . → Read More: Revoked and Replaced OpenPGP Key

Shuffling Partitions on FreeBSD

I’ve recently moved my personal web sites to, using virtual machines instead of real hardware. (I’ve caught up to the 2000s, hurrah!) I didn’t track server utilization, so I provisioned the machines based on a vague gut feeling.

The web server started spewing signal 11s, occasionally taking down the site by killing mysql. Investigation . . . → Read More: Shuffling Partitions on FreeBSD

Phabricator on FreeBSD installation notes

BSDs generally break their PHP packages into smaller units than most Linux distribution. This means that you need extra packages when following installation guides. I’m installing Phabricator on FreeBSD because I want ZFS under it.

This is the complete list of PHP modules and related stuff I needed to install to get Phabricator to run . . . → Read More: Phabricator on FreeBSD installation notes

a survey of FreeBSD ZFS snapshot automation tools

Why automatically snapshot filesystems? Because snapshots let you magically fall back to older versions of files and even the operating system. Taking a manual snapshot before a system upgrade is laudable, but you need to easily recover files when everything goes bad. So I surveyed my Twitter followers to see what FreeBSD ZFS snapshot automation . . . → Read More: a survey of FreeBSD ZFS snapshot automation tools

Installing and Using Tarsnap for Fun and Profit

Well, “profit” is a strong word. Maybe “not losing money” would be a better description. Perhaps even “not screwing over readers.”

I back up my personal stuff with a combination of snapshots, tarballs, rsync, and sneakernet. This is fine for my email and my personal web site. Chances are, if all four of my backup . . . → Read More: Installing and Using Tarsnap for Fun and Profit